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Full text of "NightRider"

262

managed to buy tobacco. They've paid high for it, but
they've managed to get it. Enough to tide them over. That
tobacco is in their warehouses. In Bardsville, in Millville, in
Alltown, in Morganstown."

He paused again. He let his gaze wander from the group
before him, as though for the moment he had forgotten
them, and seemed to find his interest at the far end of the
raftered ceiling. Then he fixed his eyes upon them, and
leaned toward them, confidentially, thrusting out his long,
bony face. " It's in their warehouses," he repeated. " Millions
of pounds. It's lying there, in those warehouses. In Bards-
ville, in Millville, in Alltown, in Morganstown. Just lying
there. Well"—he grinned at them, amusedly, almost apolo-
getically, confidentially, drawing his lips back so that the
long dog-teeth were exposed, and leaned closer—"I'm pro-
posing a little trouble, boys."

There was silence in the room for a moment, except for the
comfortable, domestic drone and hiss of the logs being con-
sumed in the big fireplace behind him. Then, in a flat,
uncommunicative tone, some man said, " Well, Fm durned."

"Well?" Doctor MacDonald asked, leaning.

Nobody said anything.

"Well?" Doctor MacDonald asked again, with a suggestion
of mockery in the word.

Then a dozen voices broke out at once. Boot heels scraped
on the boards as men moved restlessly about. Doctor Mac-
Donald, grinning, lifted his hands for silence, and held them
up while the noise subsided. " It's the last card," he said.

" The truth," some man agreed.

" The last," Doctor MacDonald repeated. " There won't be
any more."

The voices broke out again, and subsided beneath his lifted
hands.

" The last card," Mr. Munn said, very loud. Some of the
men turned to look at him, then others. "The last card,"
Mr. Munn reiterated, " It's take it or leave it. And I say,
take it-----"